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#1 2020-12-11 19:27:08

Danielsan
Member
Registered: 2017-11-22
Posts: 36

When did XFCE4 stop to be considered a lightweight DE?

This is something that I have been noticing for a while, a lot of people do not consider anymore XFCE4 a lightweight environment... Mostly said the culprit is the GTK3 library which fattened the DE respect the GTK2 but then MATE is considered lighter than XFCE...

Like this comments:

XFCE
Pros:Lightweight, feature-rich
Cons:Reduced performance, when compared to LXDE/MATE.

A popular lightweight desktop. Does not perform as well as LXDE/MATE.

In terms of underneath libraries MATE relies more on GTK3 and Gnome3 pieces than XFCE4, without considering that still continues to be a mess. I used to love Gnome2+Compiz+Beryl and I recently tried to reproduce the same feeling with Mate+Compiz+Beryl but it looked so chaotic and messy respect XFCE that made me really sad. Today XFCE looks more modern and consistent respect Mate, people says that XFCE doesn't change too much, but I see a lot improvement and a better UX respect MATE.

Anyway if Xfce was lighter than Gnome2.6 I do not understand when the situation flipped with Mate, recently I also heard that even Plasma is considered lighter than Xfce4...

I had ubuntu Mate on an Odroid-UX4 but I had to switch to XFCE4 because when you begin to open many programs it consume more resources than XFCE4 and it becomes to be lesser responsive. I will probably move over Ubuntu as well which is not really the fast distro out there, but please stop saying around that Mate is lighter than XFCE4...

Last edited by Danielsan (2020-12-11 21:11:41)


Debian ~ Devuan + XFCE = <3

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#2 2020-12-11 21:06:06

peter.48
Member
Registered: 2017-01-31
Posts: 82

Re: When did XFCE4 stop to be considered a lightweight DE?

I completely agree with you.

As I recondition quite a lot of old machines (10-15 years), I am obliged to do quite a lot of tests and experiments, and what I can say is that at the level of resource consumption, reactivity and performance XFCE is practically the same as LXDE, much lighter than Mate or Cinnamon...I usually try Fedora or Mint, if it's difficult I use the Bunsen (it's REALLY LIGHT), I have sometimes tried Xubuntu, MX Linux, Mageia and Manjaro, and I can also say that the same DE (in this case XFCE) performs differently depending on the distribution. The best results I get with Fedora and Mageia, the heaviest are Mint and Xubuntu...
Nothing...for me there is no subject of discussion if XFCE or Mate, when it comes to old machines absolutely XFCE (and I think in the most recent ones too)...

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#3 2020-12-12 11:52:34

denyer
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2018-10-20
Posts: 60
Website

Re: When did XFCE4 stop to be considered a lightweight DE?

"Lightweight" is relative to the hardware most people are installing on, and when using machines with even as little as 2GB RAM the differences between eg Mate, Xfce and Plasma with effects and file indexing turned off aren't that great. Attitudes shifted from the days when we were using 64MB (Win98), 2MB (RISC OS 3.1) or 128KB (Spectrum +2) machines, and the same is happening with higher specs now.

Not sure what I'd choose for a 1GB netbook these days -- Xfce would certainly get a look in. That's enough resource to hook up to a full size monitor and do some typing. About a third of that RAM would be the DE, and after that it might run a word processor and a browser with a tab or two -- web browsing in particular eats resources.

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#4 2020-12-15 21:22:41

Danielsan
Member
Registered: 2017-11-22
Posts: 36

Re: When did XFCE4 stop to be considered a lightweight DE?

I see your point... Actually I just set up a barebone devuan box with openbox and tint2 and anything else like alsa, and the consuming of the ram is about 128MB in an other very light setup I have with Xfce4 the consumption is about 250MB. However if in the former OS if I open Firefox with 4 tabs the ram is used up to 800MB... I don't know if you can measure the responsiveness but I don't believe Mate is faster than XFCE...


Debian ~ Devuan + XFCE = <3

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